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As Companies Call Staff Back, More Workers Want To Check Out


The so-called great resignation — a post-pandemic wave of employee resignations — may be accompanied by a gradual resignation of workers bored, burnt out and ready for a break.

A number of recent stories and surveys found that while many in the workforce aren’t heading for the exits, they are tired and likely to shift how they view their work-life balance and vacation time. A recent survey by organizational consulting firm Korn Ferry covered in HR Dive found workers desperate for more downtime: 79% intended to use more vacation days, 82% would appreciate their vacation more post-pandemic, and 82% planned to check in with work less frequently during trips than in the past. This potential shift signals the U.S. may slowly be reverting to the norm among peer countries, where workers enjoy more vacation time and don’t skip paid time off. 

Researchers have also identified more pronounced cases of what’s being called "boreout," a feeling of pointlessness at work. A BBC piece exploring the phenomenon said the problem is getting increased attention now, as workers have grown tired of remote working and nonstop Zoom meetings, job satisfaction is considered more of a need than a luxury, and the labor market has given workers more leverage, and more opportunities to find new jobs. 

Some companies have responded to these concerns with increased benefits, more remote work options, and even “burnout breaks,” in the form of extra time off.